The difference between good and excellent is in the details; and if you’re not looking into the details of your customer experience, then 2020 will come like a bolt from the blue for you! Customer Experience (CX) has been a hot topic for the last few years, and with CX standards constantly evolving, it will continue to be so. This makes it business-critical for organizations to keep a tab on new trends and evolve their CX strategy to be on top of their game, and in some cases, to even remain in the game!
Trends that will shape Customer Experience strategies of 2020
1. Real personalization, not mere personalization
Does personalization only mean using customers’ personal data to show them “relevant” advertisements or product recommendations? ‘No’, says the year 2020! A recent survey from around the globe revealed that 77% of customers are not impressed by the deluge of marketing messages and ads coming their way, even if these are ‘personalized’. What really matters to these customers, 90% of them, is convenience. Currently, 60% of customers feel that brands don’t use their personal preferences enough to predict their needs. These surveyed customers echoed the sentiment that “brands who should know me, don’t know me very well.”
Superficial personalization is not going to work anymore—and this is a clear message for CX strategists in 2020. Personalization is imperative. However, instead of complicating CX, strategists must build on customers’ need for convenience, and use ‘open’ and adaptable marketing and CX technology; because 85% customers still like to have a ‘human touch’ for positive customer experience.
The challenge lies in achieving these new levels of personalization while also dealing with data privacy and security. CX teams have to find that sweet spot where they can tailor-make unique experiences, and yet not threaten their customers by going too close for data collection.
2. Implementation of Self-Service
Need a quick answer? Google it, said everyone. And this is the very bedrock of self-service. Not having to go round about to track down solutions is valued highly by customers in the CX journey.
Customers want to solve problems, but also save time. When they have solutions at their fingertips, and don’t have to seek help, brands earn brownie points. Organizations can make the journey of self-service easy for customers by connecting relevant systems such as knowledge-base or account management system, and enable customers to move towards independent problem-solving. When self-service is done right it will allow customers to take charge of the buying journey, save time, and improve their overall experience.
Companies should also remember to provide seamless transition from a self-service query to a human agent if and when an issue becomes complicated, and the customer cannot resolve it independently.
3. Notched-up Technology
Customers will not tolerate outdated technology, processes or communication. Consumer understanding and expectations have gone up tremendously; so brands don’t have a chance at second guessing. Outdated technology indicates to customers that the brand they are interacting with does not believe in improving overall experience.
According to CX stats for 2020, 82% customers believe that technology should make their online experiences with brands better. With digital CX gaining importance, what CX leaders need is to break silos and ensure maximum integration among various functions within the organization to provide superior CX.
A technological notch-up comes from a systems convergence, where Systems of Engagements (such as chat, video call, co-browse, conversational AI and IoT devices), Systems of Records (vital information across customer personas, product details, sales and service history that facilitate a 360-degree view), Systems of Things (machine-to-machine (M2M) and machine-to-human (M2H) connections), and Systems of Intelligence (insights from data across interconnected Systems of Engagements, Records and Things) assimilate to result in superior digital efficiencies.
4. Inclusive Design
The overall market size for chatbots worldwide would be over $1.34 billion by 2024. In fact. IBM states that by 2020, 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without a human agent. With a wide diaspora of customers turning to digital outlets to connect with brands, it’s important that websites and apps become more accessible. This is especially true in the case of customers who use assistive technology. Digital products must become easier and more enjoyable for not just people who have disabilities, but also those who want to use digital products in their native language or children who are learning to read and write, and so on. In addition, by 2050, the number of people aged 65 and older is expected to be double of what it is today. This means it is important that technology become extremely simplistic to be usable by older adults.
Inclusive design will, therefore, be more than just an afterthought, starting now. It’s set to become a standard part of the design routine, so that even on days when a customer’s cognitive faculties are weak, s/he can enjoy positive customer experience.
5. The Pinnacle of Advocacy
2020 will witness the phenomenon of advocacy or influencer marketing reach its heights. Businesses will turn to their immediate network—of partners and employees—to make them essential parts of their marketing strategy. The focus, nevertheless, will be on mutually beneficial engagement, and not on what an individual can do for a brand.
Partners and employees often know a business the best, and improving their experience becomes an important influencer of customer experience. According to a report on CX management, the percentage of CX leaders who earned “good” or “very good” employee engagement ratings is more than 5-times larger than the percentage of CX underachievers.
Partners and employees help fill in the gaps in customers’ experience journey, and 2020 will be the year when more B2B companies will open their minds to leverage their immediate networks to help them grow their businesses and improve CX.
In another wave of transformation, businesses will begin to understand that customers need to engage with brands beyond just buying from them. A study found that nearly 75% of consumers expect two-way relationship with organizations they do business with. The intensifying trend of advocacy will have businesses roping in the best of the customers to build competitive advantage and develop a stronger relationship with the brand. Consumers will be involved in shaping, influencing, building and co-creating the overall brand, according to the report.
6. Bots? Or Humans? Or Both?
2020 is the year of the bots, says Forrester. Companies are increasing their investments in their AI building blocks including analytics and machine learning, to create hundreds of use cases of Intelligent Process Automation. So undoubtedly the bots are getting bigger (not in size, but in intelligence and application), and interactions with them are set to become increasingly humanized, significantly improving CX.
Read More: Top Uses of Chatbots in Key Sectors
However, keeping in mind that customers want to interact with human reps at some point, CX professionals will focus on improving service experiences to drive loyalty. The emphasis will be on upskilling and helping employees find task-critical information. In the end, customers will be provided with the best of everything—digital agents that are almost human, and human reps who are highly skilled to offer the best of CX.
2020 is predicted to be a positive and healthy year for CX. Organizations will be focused towards developing improved creative marketing and content experiences.
However, the biggest challenge for any organization would be to clearly define roles and responsibilities for who will be in charge of the Customer Experience strategy. Many believe that the responsibility of CX strategy is that of Marketing. While marketers do play an important role in Customer Experience, the ideal arrangement is when all departments of an organization support a holistic CX strategy, which is designed by a dedicated CX leader or team. With a dedicated CX leader, a company’s customer experience strategy is bound to be fired up. In fact, according to a report, 52% of CX professionals believe that CX requires a chief customer experience officer to be successful.
Since 2020 is also touted as the year when many marketers may resort to dark patterns—a practice of deliberately tricking consumers, it is necessary that to ensure seamless constructive CX, companies engage in offering deception blockers, and keep their CX management simple and relevant.
If all these sounds overwhelming, Suyati Technologies can help you with your CX strategies. Our approach to customer experience can be summed up in one phrase – Buyer Rhythms (BR). BR is the deep understanding of your customer by focusing on and learning from the repeated patterns they create while interacting with your business. It offers you detailed insights, delivered in a seamless manner within your existing IT ecosystem.
Founded in 2009, Suyati Technologies has niche and rich expertise in CMS, CRM, e-commerce and Marketing Automation. We help companies across the globe leverage their best on web and cloud through our platform integration, data analytics and customer engagement services. Learn more: www.suyati.com.
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